St Austell Brewery has launched a campaign to fit defibrillators across its pub estate.

The company, which has more than 180 sites across the south west, is hoping the campaign will ensure as many communities as possible have access to a lifesaving device.

The Heart of the Community campaign was launched after the brewery identified 55 of its pubs in places which don’t currently have access to a defibrillator. The campaign aims to raise money through its charitable trust to buy and install them. To kick off the campaign, St Austell Brewery has already installed defibrillators on the wall outside the County Arms in Truro and the Borough Arms in Bodmin.

Pub goers can help save lives by purchasing a portion of fish & chips (25p per portion will go towards the defibrillator campaign) or by scanning a QR code on posters. St Austell Brewery will match fund every £1 donated by the public.

In the UK as many as 100,000 hospital admissions each year are due to heart attacks – that’s 260 admissions each day or one every five minutes. It’s estimated that around 1.4 million people alive in the UK today have survived a heart attack – around one million men and 380,000 women.

The brewery has partnered up with the Ronnie Richards Memorial Charity (RRMC) to buy the vital equipment. Co-founders Paul and Liz Williams set up the charity in memory of Liz’s brother Ronnie who sadly died from sudden cardiac arrest whilst playing football at Penzance Leisure Centre.

The charity has been fundraising for defibrillators to be installed in schools and public places all over the Duchy for many years and train young people how to use the devices.

Piers Thompson, St Austell Brewery’s external relations director, visited the Borough Arms in Bodmin last week to mark the installation of one of the first defibrillators.

He said: “We’re really excited to be working with the Ronnie Richards Memorial Charity and launching this campaign to ensure public access defibrillators are available to many of our pub’s local communities.

“We have sites in some of the most popular places in the south west and often in remote locations, whether that be in the countryside or on the coast. Installing lifesaving devices in over 50 of our sites is very important to us and more importantly it will increase the likelihood of lives being saved.”